Statement of Primary Responsibilities of the Council of the University of Liverpool

The Council, under the provisions of the Charter and the Statutes of the University, is the governing body of the University. The Charter identifies the Council as being responsible for “the management and administration of the whole revenue and property of the University and the conduct of all the affairs of the University.”  The detailed powers and duties of the Council are defined in Statute 9.

The primary responsibilities of the Council may be defined as being to:-

  1. Appoint a Chancellor, a President who shall act as Chair of the Council and a Vice-President of the Council.

  2. Appoint a Vice-Chancellor as chief executive, and to put in place suitable arrangements for monitoring their performance.

  3. Delegate authority to the Vice-Chancellor, as chief executive, for the academic, corporate, financial, estate and human resource management of the institution. And to establish and keep under regular review the policies, procedures and limits within such management functions as shall be undertaken by and under the authority of the head of the institution.

  4. Approve the mission and strategic vision of the institution, long-term academic and business plans and key performance indicators, and to ensure that these meet the interests of stakeholders. 

  5. Ensure that processes are in place to monitor and evaluate the performance and effectiveness of the institution against the plans and approved key performance indicators, which should be – where possible and appropriate – benchmarked against other comparable institutions.

  6. Ensure the establishment and monitoring of systems of control and accountability, including financial and operational controls and risk assessment, and procedures for handling internal grievances and for managing conflicts of interest.

  7. Be the employing authority for all staff in the institution and to be responsible for establishing a human resources strategy.

  8. Oversee the academic endeavours of the University; to ensure that there is an effective framework in place to manage the quality of learning and teaching and to maintain academic standards; and to ensure that the welfare of students, as far as is reasonably practicable, is secured.

  9. Be the principal financial and business authority of the institution, to ensure that proper books of account are kept, to approve the annual budget and Financial Statements, and to have overall responsibility for the institution’s assets, property and estate.

  10. Be the institution’s legal authority and, as such, to ensure that systems are in place for meeting all the institution’s legal and regulatory obligations, including those arising from contracts and other legal commitments made in the institution’s name.

  11. Conduct its business in accordance with the best interests of the University, and in an open and transparent fashion as appropriate, safeguarding the University’s good name, values and sustainability.
  12. Conduct its business in accordance with best practice in HE corporate governance and with the principles of public life drawn up by the Committee on Standards in Public Life, as well as to ensure the OfS public interest governance principles are upheld and delivered.

  13. Appoint a Clerk to the Council. Irrespective of other duties an individual appointed as Clerk might have in the University, in their capacity as Clerk they shall act on the instructions of and be responsible to the Council alone.

  14. Ensure that the institution’s constitution is followed at all times and that appropriate advice is available to enable this to happen.

  15. Act as trustee for any property, legacy, endowment, bequest or gift in support of the work and welfare of the institution.

  16. Establish processes to monitor and evaluate the performance and effectiveness of the governing body itself.